The European Investment Bank has agreed to support transformational investment at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (TUCN) through a new EUR 21 million, 25-year loan.
The loan is the first granted under the EIB’s EUR 100 million “Romania Higher Education Programme
Loan” and is guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the core of the Investment Plan for Europe – also known as the “Junker Plan”.
The program launched by EIB in 2020, has as main objective to ensure the necessary resources to improve the teaching, research, innovation, and student living conditions in Romanian universities, by building new buildings or renovating existing ones. The funding also supports adapting infrastructure to new technologies, improving learning environments, increasing the accessibility of people with disabilities, and improving the energy efficiency of buildings.
The loan agreement signed by TUCN represents the first support granted to a university in Romania, by the European Investment Bank, within this program to bolster higher education, launched at the beginning of 2020.
“I welcome the support of the European Investment Bank given to the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, the first support it gave to a higher education institution in Romania, outside Bucharest. This loan of EUR 21 million over 25 years will benefit thousands of students, research and create more than 200 new jobs. I am glad that through this agreement, the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca contributes to the development of the student community, but also to the creation of an Educated Romania”, said Monica Cristina Anisie, Minister of Education and Research.
“The Technical University of Cluj-Napoca is nowadays a modern, diverse and complex higher education institution, with a well-defined identity, actively involved in the local, regional and national ecosystems, recognized and appreciated as a provider of education, research , technology transfer and high-quality innovation. The EIB’s support to our university, for the largest capital investment program we have ever had, will help accelerate the achievement of our strategic goals and represent our contribution to improving the living, learning and research conditions of our students and teachers. We are proud that the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca is the first university in the country to receive EIB financing approval through the loan program for the development of higher education institutions in Romania 2021-2025, said Prof. Dr. Eng. Vasile Topa, Rector of the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca.
“The European Investment Bank is pleased to support the ambitious upgrade of the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca. The EIB’s 25-year EUR 21 million financing will further strengthen the academic and scientific excellence of the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca and demonstrates how visionary higher-education investment can both enhance education, research and innovation, and improve energy efficiency.” said Christian Kettel Thomsen, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for Romania.
The EIB’s first ever support for investment at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca will benefit thousands of students, improve innovation, and research and create hundreds of new jobs.
The investment plan of UTCN includes the modernization of the educational infrastructure for smart specializations located in 3 existing buildings, the creation of a centre called Hub UT Cluj consisting of spaces for conferences, workshops, and hosting spin-offs, as well as the construction of new accommodation for 300 students, along with the renovation of existing ones.
The investments will also provide a new building for the Artificial Intelligence Research Institute as well as the relocation of the university library and canteen to modern buildings, equipped with state-of-the-art technology.
Supporting higher education investment across Romania
The Technical University of Cluj-Napoca is the first university to be supported by the EIB’s new EUR 100 million streamlined financing programme for higher education investment in Romania, guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments.
The EIB is currently examining financing at a number of universities across the country, with other projects expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
The proposed program for the period 2021-2025 follows the financing agreement signed by the EIB with the Polytechnic University of Bucharest in 2019, worth 25 million Euros which proved to be a real success, and which is intended to be multiplied by the proposed new program.
Transforming the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca campus
The new EIB financing will improve the quality of teaching, research, and student facilities across the campus of the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca.
The campus investment programme will further strengthen the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca’s role as a leading university in Romania in terms of academic excellence, will reduce the need for students to specialize abroad and will increase the university’s attractiveness for foreign students.
Increasing supply of highly skilled students
Expanding and improving teaching and research facilities at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca will help to enhance the supply of highly skilled graduates essential to enable development and innovation to intensify in smart specialization domains and to provide answers to the requirements of employers in north-western Romania.
Improving energy efficiency and cutting energy bills
The EIB backed campus investment scheme will significantly improve energy efficiency of the campus and reduce both energy costs and carbon emissions.
46% of overall investment will improve energy efficiency, as the new buildings will be designed and built in accordance with Nearly Zero Energy Consumption Building Standards, while existing buildings will be refurbished.
The European Investment Bank supports education investment across Europe and around the world and ensures that best-practice strengthens new investment in the sector.
Over the last decade, EIB has provided more than EUR 30 billion for school, university, and further education investment.
Source: Romania: EUR 21 million EIB backing to strengthen research, education, and innovation infrastructure at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca
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